Have you ever stayed in a Bed and Breakfast in a lovely, old historic home? Or at least one that is carefully cared for and beautifully furnished, with scrumptious, elegant breakfasts? There are some gorgeous Bed and Breakfasts available. Now-a-days, with the Internet, they are easy to find and convenient to investigate. One caveat, of course, is that they can be expensive and not all are as carefully historic as others.
For our Historic Tours of Texas, one of the reasons I have insisted on taking small groups of no more than 10 or 12 people on tours is that we can stay in Bed and Breakfasts. The rooms and ambience are so much nicer than even the nicest Hilton or Hyatt. Every bedroom is unlike every other. And there are always beautiful porches on which to relax and recharge.
As part of our first two tours (The Presidents of the Republic and the Spanish Missions), we came away enamored with the facilities of most of the B&Bs we stayed at. Our main regret with most of them was that we felt unfortunate not to be able to stay longer.
In Galveston, Marcy Hanson welcomed us to the award-winning The Victorian Inn Bed and Breakfast. http://www.vicbb.com/ This 1899 family home has survived hurricanes and flooding, including the terrible 1900 hurricane. Carefully repaired and preserved, today, Marcy shares the home with rabbits in the back yard and a beautiful Angel statue carved from one of the trees that went down in the last storm. The rooms were delightful, the house elegant and clean. The breakfast buffet was to die for. Even Paula, our resident chef, agreed.
The #Oge House in San Antonio, owned and operated by Noble Inns, is an 1857 mansion built by cattleman Louis Ogé. https://www.nobleinns.com/oge.html. We stayed here two nights, although a few of us had to stay at a second facility around the corner. We had a chance to roam the Riverwalk and visit Mi Tierra, after which we relaxed on the second-floor porch and ate cookies and watched the world go by. Again, an excellent breakfast.
The Far View Inn B& B in Brenham became our so-far, all-time favorite. As I’ve mentioned before, we got to use the cabana out beside the pool to fix our own supper. The breakfast, fixed by our host, a transplanted northerner, was delightful and the accommodations spacious and comfortable.
Now, all that being said, we did have some “other” experiences. After all, we are still setting up the tours. Not all B&Bs are lovely and historic. In some cases, owners of old homes simply repaint them, fill them with used furniture and rent them out for exorbitant prices, so be careful!
In Victoria, TX, the Inn on Main may have been historic, but as you can tell, it was never a lovely old mansion. The furniture was generic and the owner uninterested. The breakfast consisted of a box of donuts tossed on the table, a few Granola health bars, and a make-it-yourself coffee machine. The owner hasn’t quite got the concept of the B&Bs.
The only other B&B in Victoria, the Friendly Oaks, (where we did not stay) is run by a very elderly couple who are evidently hoarders. Every surface was covered with stuff and long table cloths covered piles of goods stacked under the tables. The house may well have been lovely at one time, but his wife is now sickly and the house cleaning is left to someone who doesn’t seem to care. As a Scotsman, and proud of his heritage, the owner fixes the breakfasts and talks almost non-stop. The meals sounded good, but the atmosphere was like crowding into someone’s house. Definitely a no-go.
So, if you choose to go to a B&B make sure you read the reviews. Some are wonderful and well worth the money. Others, not so much! Caveat Emptor.